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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

ACS Holds Forum to Improve Emergency and Trauma Care

On January 14, 2014, The American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted the ACS Surgical Health Care Quality Forum at the University of California, San Francisco. The program was part of a series of events designed to inspire new methods to improve patient safety and quality improvement outcomes.

The forum attendees and speakers included surgeons, physicians, and hospital representatives, including surgeons from the local Bay Area hospitals who treated victims of the July 2013 Asiana Airlines crash. They shared their experience providing emergency care after a mass casualty event.

Among the solutions offered to help improve and strengthen emergency and trauma care included:

  • Preparedness
  • Coordination
  • Regionalization
  • Enhanced communication
  • Federal trauma funding
  • Leveraging the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, noted, "The infrastructure that allowed San Francisco to respond so effectively to this major mass causality event is really based upon principles put forth in the ACS book Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient and includes an organized response to injury for things like pre-hospital medical education, setting up pre-hospital systems, 911 communications systems, triage and transport protocol." "It's amazing when you look at a map of the area and realize that casualties were distributed to 12 different hospitals in a little over an hour or so – that would not have been possible 30 years ago."

The keynote speaker, Fiona Ma, CPA, Former Speaker Pro Tempore, California State Assembly, provided her perspective on strengthening emergency response. "Looking forward, I believe greater regional cooperation and communication is needed between all stakeholders involved in response, including EMS, The Coast Guard, The American Red Cross and hospitals. In addition, translation services at the scene of the accident could help to alleviate future incidents where medical providers face challenging language barriers."